During the course of training for longer distances, I found that foot blisters were more and more of a problem, especially in the curves beneath the toes and on the insides of each toe. Using Body Glide or other lubricants sometimes did the trick, but sometimes during warmer conditions, I found that to be a bit uncomfortable. Petroleum based lubricants made my feet sweat and increased the discomfort. A few months ago, I came across a pair of Injinji Performance toe socks, and have found then to be the solution for most of my problems.
Injinji socks are made utilizing their Anatomical Interface System that separates each toe and provides a frictionless membrane between each toe. They are seamless from heal to toe and they are made from a mix of Coolmax, Lycra and nylon fabrics making them surprisingly moisture wicking. They come in several different lengths, and I found that the Micro and Mini-crew were the most comfortable. They come in white, pink, black and gray and are relatively colorfast. Injinji Performance Coolmax EcoMade are manufactured from recycled and re-purposed plastic bottles and postindustrial waste and come in three different rainbow patterns,
Pros: I found the socks to be incredibly comfortable. Despite the initial feeling of strangeness from having material between my toes, I quickly became accustomed to them. I was concerned that the motion of running would cause the socks to pull on the toes, but my feet moved freely within the socks and I experienced no unnatural rubbing. I quickly saw a solution to the blister problem, and even during warmer months, the additional fabric added no additional warmth. Even during wet and rainy runs, the fabric toe separation maintained a nice friction-free barrier that eliminated blisters and rubbing. Additionally, my fellow running husband tested them underneath his Vibram running shoes and found them to be a comfortable compliment to barefoot running, especially during colder weather.
Cons: The only negative I found was when I tried the Performance Coolmax EcoMade. These socks are humorously rainbow striped, but I found the points where the colors joined to be bothersome. There were small knots at each of these points that rubbed small blisters until I cut them off. Additionally, at $12 – $14 a pair, the Injinji socks are a bit more expensive than most running socks, but to their credit, they seem to hold up as well as, if not better, than other performance running socks.
Overall, I am exceptionally pleased with Injinji Performance Socks as a solution to blisters and rubbing during long runs. Injinji also makes Ex-Celerator recovery socks that provide Compression Technology to help speed muscle recovery. Whether you are needing socks to wear with your favorite traditional running shoes or need a compliment to Vibram Five Finger shoes, Injinji provide a effective and comfortable solution.
Shawna S. is an avid runner in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. She will be competing in her first Ultra-Marathon in the fall, and she is a local running coach, fitness advisor, and writer for www.moving4life.com as well as a wife and mother to two very active young sons. Shawna is also the president of Moxie Software, a software company focused on the restaurant and fitness industry.